August 14, 2020

DEBATING ‘ROUND THE WORLD: Court Limits FCC Authority on Web (For)

posted on: Wednesday April 14, 2010

by Arman Oganisian ’13 / Asst. World Editor

There is something quite troubling about a government agency attempting to expand regulation over the Internet. The Internet is the most popular way of communicating information.Whether it is the news, personal updates on Facebook, or videos on YouTube, the government should not regulate internet content.The free market has been very efficient, up to this point, in having Web sites transfer information faster by charging them at a higher rate. Tommy Cody points this out pretty well when mentioning that the laissez-faire approach taken by the Clinton Administration lead to an internet sector boom in the 2000s.Politically, a court ruling in favor of FCC regulation would be inconsistent. After criticizing Iran and China for heavily monitoring and regulating their internet, it would seem very weird to make a ruling favoring FCC regulation.Of course, I’m not juxtaposing speed and bandwidth regulation with the ridiculous level of control the Iranian and Chinese governments have.I’m simply asking: Where do we draw the line? How long will it take to go from regulating speed to regulating content? At that point, how long would it take for content regulation on the internet to become anti-democratic?I’m glad the courts ruled against FCC regulation. It would be very terrifying if they had ruled in favor of regulations. I think that I, and others, would’ve had good reason to be concerned and a tad unsettled.

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